Incredible news, everyone! A “concerned parent” in Kansas just discovered something groundbreaking: if you hide the suggestion of sexual activity from 13-year-olds entirely, it will prevent them from engaging in that behavior forever. They will never figure it out on their own.
So discovered “concerned parent” Mark Ellis, who successfully had a sexual education poster, “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?”, removed from his daughter’s Hocker Grove Middle School classroom because it was about sex. Victory is his.
It started when Ellis’ 13-year-old daughter did something which I think is very weird: she took a photograph of the poster and showed it to her dad. The poster reads:
How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?
Touching Each Other’s Genitals
Saying “I Like You”
Cuddling On The Couch
Assuming it was a joke, Mark Ellis complained to the Shawnee Mission School District, warning them about this poster on their wall. The district responded that the poster is part of the sex ed curriculum; Mark Ellis stamped his foot and the superintendent removed the poster, promising a review.
A spokeswoman for the district assured parents that the words on the poster was part of a larger sexual education lesson about the various ways that young adults can express themselves sexually. I’m assuming the focus of this exercise is on the less explicitly sexual ones like saying “I like you,” holding hands and talking (which appears on the poster twice). The point would be for kids to realize that there are plenty of less risky ways to show sexual feelings than vaginal intercourse or anal sex.
Still, Ellis complained to Fox News (of course) that children should be kept in the dark about sex. “We try to instill in our daughter that sex is for marriage. … It makes me wonder what our country has come to when kids get something like this thrown in front of them,” he said. “I couldn’t believe something like that was going on in school.”
Something like … education? If Mark Ellis is such a “concerned parent,” than he knows that Kansas ranks 27th in the country for teen birth rate — not too bad, but not so impressive, either. According to statistics collected by the Office Of Adolescent Health, 3,545 teen girls under age 20 in Texas had babies in 2011. A report entitled ” Adolescent And Teenage Pregnancy Report” published by the Kansas Department Of Health and Environment” warned, “While Kansas has exceeded the national targets for the teen pregnancy rates, the state’s birth rate for females aged 15-19 remains higher than the national rate.”
Kansas public schools have “abstinence plus” sexual education, which teaches abstinence first and foremost but also educates kids about STDs and contraception. Children have to have permission to sit in on these classes. Mark Ellis seized the opportunity to impose his belief in no-sex-until-marriage on other peoples’ children. “[The poster] has nothing to do with abstinence or sexual reproduction,” he complained to Fox. “I would like to see that this particular portion of the curriculum is removed from school.”
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[Image via Think Progress]